In an era where e-commerce giants seem to be taking over, the significance of brick-and-mortar retail can’t be overlooked. Generational preferences, along with the 24/7 convenience of online shopping, account for much of the differences between online buying habits compared to in- store. Still, many consumers note that the experience of wandering through a physical store, interacting with products, and the ability to get instant gratification are all part of the advantage of visiting a store. To contend with the digital wave and give shoppers the in-person experience many crave, small businesses owners can grow and compete when they embrace proven retail marketing strategies.

  • Optimize your online presence with accurate, up-to-date information and a Google Business Profile.
  • Employ strategic sales and loss leaders to drive foot traffic and highlight product range.
  • Create captivating window displays and offer a digitally curated catalog for broader inventory access and to support customers who want to research before they buy.
  • Enhance the shopping experience with personalized services, special in-store experiences, events, and technology such as faster checkouts.
  • Invest in staff training for improved customer service, brand loyalty, and a reputation as product experts.
  • Boost brand visibility on social media and value repeat customers with loyalty programs.

Navigating the New Norm
The playbook for retail marketing has undeniably changed and adopting a forward-leaning strategy is not just an option, but a necessity. Here are nine strategies that retailers can employ to ensure their marketing efforts capture the attention of consumers in 2024 and beyond.

1. Ensure Accurate and Updated Online Information
Consumers often start their search online, making it crucial for retail stores to have a detailed and up-to-date online presence. Optimizing your Google Business Profile, maintaining current website information, and ensuring location details are accurate is essential. Customers trust businesses that are easily found and provide accurate information readily.

2. The Art of Sales and Loss Leaders
Using strategic sales and loss leaders effectively draws customers to your store. Sales tied to seasons or special occasions create urgency and boost foot traffic. Loss leaders, though they may reduce profit margins, highlight your product range, encouraging more purchases. Also, with more in-store traffic, you have the advantage to sell complimentary products and add-ons.

3. Window Dressing that Sells
Your store’s window display is your first chance to catch a customer’s interest before they enter. Keep it fresh and seasonal. A captivating window display that tells a story or highlights your top products can grab the attention of passersby and encourage them to come inside.

4. Digitally Curated Catalog
A digital catalog available in-store and online is a cost-effective method to expand your inventory and display options. It lets customers explore your entire product range from home, a smart strategy considering that up to 81% of shoppers research products online before buying in the store.

5. Offer a Unique Shopping Experience
In a competitive market, a unique store experience keeps customers returning. This can include personalized services, local events, special touches such as tea or coffee, a great playlist, or even technological advancements provided by self checkouts.

6. Invest in Staff Training
Your employees are the face of your business and play a crucial role in shaping customer experiences. Consistent training equips them with the knowledge and skills to provide outstanding service, fostering genuine connections in a digital landscape. This not only enhances customer loyalty but also positions your brand as a trusted source of expert advice through increased product awareness.

7. Ramp Up Social Media Brand Awareness
Social media isn’t just for making friends; it’s key for boosting brand visibility and engaging customers. Leverage Instagram and Facebook to share your brand’s narrative, highlight products, and chat with your audience. Harness user-generated content, creative narratives, and regular posts to keep your brand in the spotlight. Check out HubSpot’s guide on utilizing social media to build better brand awareness.

8. Value Returning Customers with Loyalty Programs
Repeat customers are the lifeblood of any retail business. Implementing a customer loyalty program rewards repeat business and encourages future purchases. Personalized discounts, exclusive offers, and surprise gifts are all ways to delight your regulars and ensure they keep coming back.

9. Email Marketing – The Old Dog with New Tricks
Email marketing is highly effective for reaching your customers. If you’re not collecting emails from customers, you’re missing out. Email marketing ensures you always have a way to contact your customers for sales, promotions, new products, events, and more. And by segmenting your email list, you can customize offers based on customer preferences and behaviors. Add value through discounts, useful tips, or exclusive insights to keep subscribers engaged and eager for your next email.

The Roundup: Integrating Online and Offline Efforts
Looking at these strategies, it’s clear that a digital presence and integrating online and offline experiences are crucial. Marketers who combine online efficiency with the sensory experiences of physical stores will likely succeed. Essentially, retail marketing in 2024 requires a balanced mix of in-store and digital strategies. By blending both, retailers can create a compelling customer experience that’s unique. At its core, retail marketing focuses on understanding and serving the customer, which is key to a thriving retail business.

Since 1914, the Greater Atlantic City Chamber is dedicated in creating a favorable economic climate with meaningful services for the business community. Together we work to foster growth in the region’s economy by creating a better business climate and a higher quality of life.